It is all too common that a person is charged with a DUI after failing a breathalyzer and they then decide that they have no legal options. The truth is that breathalyzers are not perfect and the people administering them can make mistakes. Before you simply accept your fate and plead guilty, talk to a criminal defense attorney who can review your case and help you find the best way forward. Contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 for a free legal consultation.
There Are Strict Requirements on How Breathalyzers Must Be Administered
California law requires certain things of those who are administering breathalyzer tests and the equipment they are using. For example, it is a requirement that the testing device is kept in good working order and that it is properly calibrated and re-calibrated. The officer that is giving the breathalyzer tests must have completed a minimum amount of training on how to use the device.
The police department must keep records of all training personnel received on breathalyzer devices. They must also keep detailed logs of how the devices are kept up, when they are calibrated, and what the results were. If they do not have evidence of property training and calibration then we may be able to prevent conviction for the charge.
There Are Strict Results About How the Test is Given
In addition to ensuring the person giving the test is trained and the device is calibrated correctly, there are also requirements on how the test must be given. For example, the police officer can only give you a breathalyzer after they have continually observed you for at least 15 minutes. While they are observing you, you cannot have eaten anything, drank anything, or put anything in your mouth. They cannot give the test if you have burped, vomited, or smoked during that time.
The breathalyzer must also be taken from deep in the lungs, which requires that you take a deep breath. If the officer did not indicate to you that you must do so, then you could have a false reading. If the officer did not do all of the above then we may be able to challenge the results.
You May Have Your Case Dismissed or Charges Reduced
If we can successfully show that your breathalyzer was not administered correctly then there are a few options. If that was the extent of the evidence thy have against you, then it likely we can get the case dismissed. If there is additional evidence, it will be made much weaker without the breathalyzer. We may be able to have the charge reduced or agree on creative sentencing options that do not involve jail time or a license suspension.
To find out what your options are, contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 for a free legal consultation.